August 27, 2011
The request for a sign language interpreter by the Deaf woman (48) over and over on the accident site was ignored by the policeman on the prefecture highway in Nakahara Ward, Kawasaki City on August 14. The Kawasaki City Deaf Society submitted the letter of protest to the Nakahara police station, asking for the explanation of details, etc.
The head of the police station ARAI Masayuki answered on August 26, though they did not allow the Deaf woman to attend a meeting as they wanted to talk calmly.
The police officials answered as stated in the document, "We apologized deeply for having given the woman uneasiness and distrust because the policeman did not know the sign language interpreter dispatch system and believed the communication was possible by writing". In addition, they promised to consider the communication accessibility in the future as much as possible.
After having been reported from the members, the Deaf woman signed, "I might not be able to consent because I was not there at the meeting with the police. However, I want them to respect the Deaf needs more whenever there is a similar case as mine".
A Deaf lawyer TAMON Hiroshi, who is also a member of the Deaf Society and attended the meeting, signed, "There are other similar cases, but it may be the first time that the police station head apologized himself".
Prefecture police center overlooks request for sign language interpreter at traffic accident site